Malemployed?

This question kicks off the popular website PleaseFireMe.com. Entertaining, funny, and sometimes groan-worthy, PleaseFireMe.com provides an anonymous outlet for employees who are frustrated with their co-workers, supervisors, bosses and customers. Posters leave anonymous messages describing their employment frustrations, for example:

“Please fire me. My supervisor recently asked me to stop being so proactive.”

Company and personnel names are omitted to protect the guilty.

But imagine if your company name were posted on PleaseFireMe.com. What are the implications for your business, and what would that say about morale in your workplace? While PleaseFireMe.com is meant to be a lighthearted outlet for employees, the posted stories also indicate a workforce increasingly disgruntled with their working environment. The Toronto Star recently reported, in an article titled “Workplaces are getting nastier”, that while employees are increasingly underemployed, their work is not the problem – it’s the people. Increasing demands on less employees are creating tense working relationships.

Employers should embrace the unspoken challenge presented by PleaseFireMe.com, and sites like it. It also provides insight into what drives employees crazy about their workplace. Could any of the comments apply to your workplace? If so, what is your company doing to improve? Employers should ask if their work environment fosters a collegial atmosphere where employees feel comfortable and engaged with their colleagues? It is also a good idea to take the temperature of employee interactions, and consider carefully any complaints about the workplace.

Participation in one of Canada’s top employer surveys can provide valuable feedback on what an employer is doing right, and areas for improvement. The Best Employers In Canada study is conducted by Aon Hewitt, Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing and worldwide study partners. Visit the Best Employers In Canada website for more information on participating. “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” competition ranks applicants based on eight criteria: Physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Participants must apply for the national competition, or for their 18 regional and special-interest “top employer” competitions. Each competition will give employers results from employee surveys and rank employers against other businesses.

While winning awards and having bragging rights as a recognized top employer are great bonuses, top employers also have the advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, lower absenteeism rates, greater productivity, higher revenue growth, and sustainability. We think that these are all great reasons to be a top Canadian employer.